Monday, August 26, 2013

LOVE EVERY DROP; St Macartans Primary School

Receiving their AUSMEPA cheque with Bob Winters
AUSMEPA is incredibly proud of so many of our Australian schools for their endeavours to find sustainable solutions both in the classroom, in their communities and on school grounds.  One of our favourite schools is St Macartans Primary School.
Macartans recently received and AUSMEPA grant of $1500 to assist them with the Mangrove component of their brilliant 'Love Every Drop' project. The students are collaborating  with another school to grow mangrove seedlings that are to be planted in Victoria's Western Port Bay later this year.

Mangroves, nursery and buffering zones

The school has already achieved a 5 Star Resource Smart School accreditation. They lead, mentor and support many other schools by hosting student conferences, teacher conferences and a Sustainability Fair. The students write a weekly newsletter that is posted on their dedicated sustainability website at

Planting a swale with native plants

On school grounds students have created ponds and planted swales with native and indigenous plants. These water sensitive urban design features reduce run-off from untreated stormwater. A rain garden collects, filters and treats stormwater before it enters the stormwater drainage system. Their wetland also improves the local catchment by using natural depressions to enhance water absorption into underground aquifers.

By managing rainwater locally, there is a reduction in the need for larger infrastructure projects downstream from the school. The native animals are also winners. Swales and wetlands improve the environment for frogs, a key species in identifying the health of waterways.  
Students assess water quality by measuring pH, nitrate and phosphorous levels and report to the school community through their newsletters and other media.

Water Sensitive Urban Design

All of these careful considerations and actions not only protect the environment on the school grounds but also the catchment leading into the coastal waters where essential buffering zones such as Mangroves, struggle against the increasing impacts of catchment changes and pollution.

Another great school doing great things. Learn more about Marine Stormwater Pollution on AUSMEPA's student research pages      here

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